Have you ever wondered…When there are two people…Who come from basically the same background…How they can turn out so totally different? I have. I mean…I’ve wondered about it as it relates to mental illness, especially bipolar disorder. Because bipolar disorder does tend to run in families. So you can kind of look at how it affects each member so differently.
Here’s a case in point. I want to tell you about two people, and you’ll be able to see what I mean.
CASE STUDY #1:
George had bipolar disorder. So did his mother. But she had learned how to manage her disorder, so she was basically stable for most of George’s life. George learned from her how to manage his bipolar disorder, so he had a relatively stable life, too, despite the fact that he had bipolar disorder. Even when he did go into bipolar episodes, because he had such a good support system, they were able to catch the episodes quickly so he didn’t suffer much.
CASE STUDY #2:
Linda had bipolar disorder. So did her mother. But she had learned how to manage her disorder, so she was basically stable for most of Linda’s life. Linda should have learned from her how to manage her bipolar disorder, but for some reason, she wouldn’t. She kept on doing things her own way. Because of this, she kept on going off her medication. So she kept on going in and out of bipolar episodes all her life. She had no support system, even though her mother tried to help her. So did other people, but she just kept pushing them away. Her life was a wreck.
Here were two people, with basically the same background, who both had bipolar disorder, who both had a mother with bipolar disorder, whose lives turned out totally different. What was the difference?
There are things you have to do when you have bipolar disorder if you want to stay stable. Like take your medication. And there are also other things you can do for yourself that can help you stay stable as well, like the things that I talk about that are in my Bipolar Stability Equation.
Things like: Having a good, strong support system. You need to have a group of people to whom you are accountable. These people don’t just care about you, but they can help you by telling you when you’re showing symptoms of a bipolar episode. They can also help you get the help you need when you need it.
You also need to keep your appointments with your medical and mental health professionals. That’s your responsibility. That’s being treatment compliant. You also need to keep a good sleep schedule, going to sleep at the same time every night and waking up at the same time every morning, and getting 8-9 hours of uninterrupted sleep every night.
Eating a good, healthy diet is also very important, and something you can control. You also need to stay away from alcohol and drugs. If you don’t, you’ll have an even worse problem than
just trying to battle your bipolar disorder.
Also, watch your triggers and symptoms. By doing so, you’ll be able to tell when you’re headed
for a bipolar episode and you can avoid it. Doing these things will help you to stay stable with
your bipolar disorder and to help you stay out of bipolar episodes.
Well, I have to go!